Boyhood of Boycie actor

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ACTOR John Challis - ‘Boycie’ in Only Fools and Horses - has spoken of his childhood growing up with a tough Sheffield-born dad.

John was raised in London but his civil servant father “came from a hard, northern background” and his grandfather had worked in the Sheffield steel mills in the 1930s.

He said: “My father wasn’t averse to corporal punishment. When I told my father I wanted to be an actor he said, ‘What have I done?’. The only time he ever let his guard down was when he was quite drunk and he’d watched me in a play. He suddenly said, ‘I was so proud of you’, and I burst into tears because he’d never, ever said that.”

John, aged 68, who has been married four times and has no children, said his aunt in Sheffield is now his “only living relative”, adding it “does make me feel lonely”.